Project Cars 3: how not to make a car

, | Game diaries

It might surprise you to know this, but I’m no car expert.  Everything I know about cars I Googled and then forgot ten minutes later.  When I go to the mechanic, I make a great show of nodding sagely while he explains in detail why he’ll be charging $742.18 to my credit card.  He might as well be speaking Klingon.  

However, I do know physics, common sense, and today’s rivals event in Project Cars 3.  I also know the ongoing weekly rivals event that will be in effect for two more interminable days.  From these things, I have some advice to offer the supposed experts who make fancy cars.  Because right now, they’re Doing It Wrong.  So I’m going to tell them how to make their fancy cars work better.

Today’s rivals event puts a 12-cylinder Ferrari on a thin twisting track in Italy called Pista di Fiorano.  Imagine a three-kilometer strand of spaghetti.  Throw it on the ground.  Now race along it.  No, don’t build a race track on it.  Race along the strand of spaghetti.  Because that’s the width of the track.  Pista di Fiorana is Italian for “really thin piece of pasta”.  

Similarly, the weekly rivals event is a prototype car on a twisty track in Portugal.  At least the Portuguese have the common courtesy to build wider roads for their racetrack.  But the car for the event is some misbegotten British doo-dad called a Ginetta LMP3, which stands for Le Mans Prototype.  Prototype cars are called prototypes because they’re built from the ground up for racing.  They don’t use road cars as a template.  They just make up everything as they go along.  And like the 12-cylinder Ferrari I had to carefully navigate along a thin strip of asphalt in Italy, the Ginetta has a serious design flaw.

It can only do one thing at a time.

There are two things that distinguish a car from, say, a child’s wagon.  A car can go and a car can turn.  If I were to sit in a wagon, I can’t make it go and I can’t make it turn.  I can just sit there.  Fat lot of good those four wheels are doing me.  But a car has an engine and steering.  It can accelerate and it can navigate turns.  That’s Car Design 101.  You learn it during your freshman year in Car Making College.

Naturally, the Ferrari F12tdf and the Ginetta LMP3 can accelerate and turn, because they have engines and steering.  But they can only do one of those things at a time.  If you’re accelerating, you better not try to turn.  And if you’re turning, you better not try to accelerate.  Not even a little.  Because now you’re spinning out of control and isn’t that embarrassing?  Not to mention detrimental to your lap time.  

So I propose to the folks at Ferrari and Ginetta, first of all, don’t give your company an Italian sounding name if you’re four brothers named Walklett in Sudbury, England.  It’s just confusing. I assumed your car was Italian.  And second of all, make cars that can do two things at once.  It might be an advanced engineering concept, but I’m pretty sure it’s taught in Car Making College, because most of the cars I’ve driven — in real life and Project Cars 3 — can go and turn at the same time.  

Oh, and third of all, don’t make your car look like a goofy UFO.  Here’s a head-on view of the Ginetta:

It looks like it’s saying, “Where’s the ka-boom?” Anyway, I’m at the bottom of the bronze level in today’s rivals event and the weekly rivals event because they’re based on cars with a fundamental design flaw that even I could solve.

Next: shame and loating at 1,190 horsepower
Previously: top ten reasons I didn’t get a better lap time today